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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about getting a entry level bike (first bike), and found an ad for a 2008 Ninja 250R that's been sitting for a few years (currently does not run). It has a missing title, and the seller is asking $800 or best offer. Odometer is at 13244.

As a first bike to learn on, is this a good idea to purchase? If I can talk down the price enough, will it be a good deal? Or am I getting into something way over my head, and making a decision that I will regret? I'm not too mechanically inclined (at most just doing oil changes on my own car, nothing more than that), and I have no experience with bikes whatsoever (but am willing to learn). Planning to use it to commute to university (which is a daily 15 mile commute, all surface streets) as the parking situation for cars is terrible (can never find parking). I'll still have a car in case something goes wrong with the bike or if it rains (but I am from Southern California, so the weather here is pretty good).

Pictures of bike: 250R - Album on Imgur

Description of the ad: Selling a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R The bike has been sitting outside for a couple of years and will need new tires, chain, battery, and probably a carb cleaning. I was going to turn this into a track bike but no longer have the time for it. Does not currently run, you will need to bring a truck or trailer to take home. REG 262 signed and bill of sale from registered owner in hand to re-title bike since title was misplaced

Seller told me that the previous owner dropped it once, lost the title, and stored it for two years. Seller bought it non-running, and planned to turn it into a track bike, but lost interest once he purchased a ready track bike, and stored it for another 6 months (he never registered/titled it in his name). Bike was stored on a full tank of gas, outside in the sun.

I'd greatly appreciate any advice offered, be it specifically regarding this bike or anything in general; I know I'm not knowledgeable and am willing to listen and learn. Thank you very much!
 

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maybe if it was running
for everything he stated it needs and there's no title and been dropped?
it's only $1550 trade in value
up to you but definitely talk him down and be prepared for some work
we're here to help
 

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Title work can be a pain to do a "bonded" title.
That can bring price down.
Id get the vin first and run it anyways.
I gone to the local county office and had them run vins before.
Just told them i might get bike w no title and they would explain it all.

Bonded title might be half the asking price. Do homework and steal that baby!



Sent from my new fangled morse code machine.
 

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Don't get involved in all bullshit for a 1st bike. As you can see its a headache before it starts...literally Continue searching til you find what you want. May cost you alil more, but buy the time your done with this cluster fuck money spent will be approx. the same if not more + waisted time not riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for the replies thus far! At what cost do you think it would be worth purchasing this bike (in other words, what do y'all think it is worth in the given condition) as opposed to purchasing a bike that runs and is in better condition?

I have been looking at other bikes as well (in better, running condition), specifically other 250Rs and have noticed that the average in my area (Los Angeles) for a 2008+ 250R is around $2-3k for one with ~10,000 miles, or $3-4k for one with ~5,000 miles. Haven't found anything that seems to be a better than average price yet but I will definitely keep looking.

I'll ask the seller of this sitting bike for the VIN in the mean time and run it to see the history and have the DMV explain the process. Correct me if I'm wrong but with a bonded title, after a few years, if there are no complaints from the previous owner, the bike can be assigned a clean title, right?
 

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With the sketchy title issues, and the fact that it sat outside for 2 years, I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot wrench. The money you spend trying to get it going could go with that $800 to find something you can ride and learn on without having to go into debt. If you start out with a pos that has innumerable problems, many of which you can't even suspect at this point, it may ruin you for motorcycling forever. These types of projects are for experts and not many of them would bother because a 250 ninja isn't worth a lot in perfect shape. keep your money in your wallet for now and look for something that runs.
 

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I am currently restoring a '73 Norton that had been stored in a barn that took 5' of Mississippi and to be honest, I've seen dry-stored barn finds that are in worse shape. I currently have $5500 invested and still haven't bought any paint. I will have around $6K in it, not counting labor and I'm hoping to sell it for around $8K when it's done. The engine was locked up solid, the gearbox had rusty parts to replace and the whole thing was a cosmetic disaster. I poured floodwater out of every case and the forks were full of slop, too. Even though I am familiar with the machine, I still have to consult the manual and communicate with others on the website to get things done. This is not something for first-timers unless you're the sort of person that likes banging your head against the wall. Get something that runs that you can learn on and later you may graduate to something else. It takes years of experience to tackle neglected derelicts and it's still frustrating at times.
 

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Save yourself from major headaches and keep searching. You should be looking for a bike with a CLEAN title period. Lost title? and never registered at all...not saying that it is but it can potentially be a stolen bike? Again as I and others are said, keeping the search going.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks so much everyone for the advice, I really appreciate it! Definitely help me dodge a bullet.

I've found another bike, a '07 250R (https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/mcy/6198645954.html) that seems to be a better option; owner says that it starts up and idles fine. Bike comes with a clean title in hand, although it has some damage, but seems to be cosmetic (with the exception of the damaged blinker). However, after texting him for a while, he said that the bike has been sitting for a year. I don't mind something ugly and rough, as long as it runs well and I can learn on it. However, if it'll be a pain/headache in the long run I'll keep looking. What would y'all advice, should I stay away from this one as well, and keep looking?

By the way, the seller sent me this video recording of when he started it up last week:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5YHTrf7RnRjaU5qUzJBeTFCN1lHclowT3E5bUhaUTByLTFr/view?usp=sharing

On a side note, taking the first session of the motorcycle safety course tonight!
 

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Keep looking. Whenever you have a seller changing his story, you need to run the other way. You'll thank me later.
 

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:laugh2:
 

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we're not trying to burst your bubble on buying a bike but $800 doesn't get you much these days
I hope you have the money to put some parts in these bikes and most of all buy the right gear to keep you safe.
Are you looking to commute or just want to ride?
Do you have some mechanical abilities?
I doubt a 250 will be too much for insurance but you need to check on that too. Your current driving record and no motorcycle license yet is sure to be a factor in premiums
Buying a bike for $800 can be the EZ part. It's the rest that can nickel and dime you to death
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No worries, I really appreciate all the help and support you all are giving me, thank you for that!

I have a budget of around two grand total (that is for the bike itself, the parts and servicing/maintenance, and gear). For now, I'm mainly looking to learn to ride, and if I were to commute, it would just be around town for short distances (around 5 miles a day). If I get comfortable and confident enough, I'll use the bike to commute to university, which is a 15 mile round trip, all local streets, no highway. Commuting isn't as much of a priority to me as learning and mastering how to ride, as it is a skill that I want to learn and develop earlier on in life while I am still young. I am not that mechanically inclined (never touched a bike and only know how to do oil changes on my car before, which isn't much), but am more than willing to learn and get my hands dirty.

The general consensus seems to be passing on this bike as well, which I will do and continue my search. I have messaged the owner of the first link that 185EZ found, and it seems to be a scam (going through eBay, won't let me see the bike in person), so I've stayed away from the bikes that seem too good to be true. For now as I keep looking (and keep saving money), I plan to finish the motorcycle safety course (which grants me a wavier for the skills portion for my license, meaning I don't need to own a bike yet to get licensed) and get my license, hopefully lowering my insurance premium.
 

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and it seems to be a scam (going through eBay, won't let me see the bike in person), so I've stayed away from the bikes that seem too good to be true. For now as I keep looking (and keep saving money), I plan to finish the motorcycle safety course (which grants me a wavier for the skills portion for my license, meaning I don't need to own a bike yet to get licensed) and get my license, hopefully lowering my insurance premium.
Good move, you seem to be on the right track. You'll definitely find something but patience will be your best friend. It's a good thing that you're on here asking the right questions before even making the purchase. At least you're not one of these buyers who buys a bike then ask questions after making the purchase. Better to ask then make an informed decision. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again to everyone for all the support and replies! Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions, I truly appreciate your patience in explaining and giving me guidance pointing me in the right direction. :smile2:

I've been continuing my search, and while I haven't found any decent 250Rs in my area pop up recently, I have found a '07 Ninja 650R that seems to be in good condition and under market value, with a seller that seems serious and organized in the description. Now, I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, but I'd like to ask, what are your guys' opinion on 1) starting off on a 650cc motorbike, and 2) what do you think of the bike itself? I've heard various opinions of people swearing by starting on 250cc, and other people saying that 650cc is manageable and that it's not as bad of an idea as it seems. I've checked out the insurance rates and gotten quoted; for 12-months, a 2007 250R would cost me ~$600 to insure, while a 2007 650R is around ~$874 to insure (it's a difference I am willing to pay so insurance isn't too much of a factor).

I've ran the VIN using the NICB website (https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck) and it doesn't seem salvaged or stolen, but it wasn't a detailed report.


Here is the bike in question:
Link to Photos: http://imgur.com/a/GZzKK

The Ad:
2007 Kawasaki EX650R/Ninja 650R (10,416 miles) - $1800

Priced so low people flag my ad daily!!!
Calls ONLY from 7am-9pm NO TEXTING or else you will be ignored all together.
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Located near Euclid and Imperial ave
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Saturday-Sunday
By Appointment Only
Monday-Friday
1PM - 8PM
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Look at Kawasaki Ninja 650R sportbike and the first impression is one of pure design appreciation. Look a little longer and many of the innovative engine and chassis elements begin to come into play. However, the entire package doesn't truly project its intended engineering outcome until the motorcycle is viewed with a rider seemingly melded into its unique posture. Because the 650R was meant to have broad rider appeal, Kawasaki's development team began its task with the rider - not the motorcycle.
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Considering a 250cc or 300cc? How about a parallel 650cc instead?
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2007 Kawasaki Ninja EX650R
Vin: JKAEXEA1X7A029218
Miles:10,416
Price: $1799
Paypal accepted but cash preferred

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Just washed and ready for new owner. Kawasaki mesh jacket included February 2018 Registration paid
Fresh Painted wheels Cadillac Black
Fresh oil change New Black Double Bubble windscreen
New Front and Rear Brake pads
New Adjustable Shorty Levers
New Battery
New Gold Chain and rear sprocket
New passenger pegs Black powercoated
New Front pegs Black powercoated
New red reflective rims tape
New Fender Eliminator with led rear blinkers

Can deliver for $20 within reason
 

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you'll be fine on a 650. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders from your posts.
I think you would get tired of the 250 real quick and want to upgrade anyway.
That looks like a real nice bike. May have been dropped by the scratches on the frame.
Quite a few new parts.
And yet he's below the $2175 trade in value.
Retail value is $3195
And a mesh jacket?
And a $20 delivery charge?
No wonder his ad gets flagged everyday
Maybe it's legit. Great deal if it is.
 
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